A Godless Life

(Via Christ Davis)

I have been atheist my entire life, as far as I can tell. I remember in Sunday school when I was six or seven, being more interested in the pronunciation of the multi-syllabic names. I also remembering that the books I was reading from the library were better written. My mom had been teaching me words since I was about ten days old ( really, only a slight exaggeration ), so I guess the see-spot-run level indoctrination was transparent. In any case, by the time I was eight years old I was allowed to opt out of that, although we still attended services every week for political reasons having to do with my Father’s job aspirations. All I was expected to do was stay awake; my mind was always far away.

Over the years I was pestered by various entities who had possession of my case file to attend the church of their choosing, mandatorily. If I asserted that I had no religious beliefs I received a stock-issue look of bafflement. The annoyance of hearing regularly that “of course you have to choose a religious denomination, it’s for your own good” from the pig-ignorant sociopaths that controlled my existence was only exceeded by my anger over their refusal to allow me access to books worth reading. They certainly facilitated my rapid flight into the sub-basement of my mind, where I remained, pissed off, for entirely too long. Bastards.

I have to say that I have known quite a few religious folk over the years who were decent, sweet and kind to me. I spent a significant amount of time at a Catholic Worker soup kitchen in California, which was run by a group comprised of Jews, Buddhists, various flavors of Christians and many uncategorizable malcontents and nutjobs. I never had to fear proselytizing from anyone, except the anarchists.

Since 1998 I have been closely associated with A.A., but these days I do not have to sit still for any earbanging from evangelists. I have been around long enough to establish my bona fides. I live in a relatively small city, of which the recovery community is an insular fraction. Mostly, people don’t care about my atheism; Some get this pitiful scared look on their faces, if they don’t know me well. Some get angry because I am undercutting the absolutism of their interpretation of A.A.

I have read many, many books on religion and atheism. I have another on order now. Through all of these books, and the sometimes contentious, stimulating conversations I have had with people I have never been able to understand why anyone could believe in any of the gods they were loyal to. This bafflement I expect to continue. I get the need for community and ties to like minded people, and to an overarching philosophy, but gods, well I don’t know…

Thanks for your attention. Or, perhaps, Wake Up!

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